Northeast Town awaits funding news for cruise ship growth study

The Pearl Mist, a new cruise ship to Manitoulin waters, will be making four stops to the Port of Little Current this summer.

ONTARIO—The Northeast Town is awaiting news from the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport (MTCS) regarding funding for a potential study that would look at the growth of the cruise ship industry in the Great Lakes.

“We already know that when we get two boats (cruise ships) in at a time we are juggling to manage them,” Northeast Town Mayor Al MacNevin explained to council last week. “We need to know what the impact of these cruise ships are and what the future of the industry is in the Great Lake ports.”

Mayor MacNevin reminded council that he had been in discussions with other Great Lakes port mayors regarding the need for a study and that the group, led by Midland Mayor Gord McKay, had met with the MTCS.

“We are asking for $250,000 to hire a project manager to do the study,” said Mayor MacNevin. “We are meeting again in Toronto soon to follow up on the funding application. We should know by the end of November.”

Mayor MacNevin stressed that the study would be a benefit for the Northeast Town.

“The study would help us determine the economic impacts of the cruise ships for our community,” the Mayor added.

Town CAO Dave Williamson added that the Port of Little Current had 30 cruise ship visits in 2017 and is expecting more for the 2018 season with the addition of a new ship on the Great Lakes.